What is an Ignition Interlock Device and How Does it Work?
If you have been arrested for drunk driving and want to retain some driving privileges, it is possible that you will be offered a place on the Impaired Driver Accountability Program. This will allow you some restricted driving privileges, meaning that you do not have to submit to full license revocation. However, as part of the program, you will need to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your motor vehicle. The device detects alcohol on your breath when you start the motor.
In order to pass your Impaired Driver Accountability Program, you will need to operate your vehicle for a set amount of time without being caught drunk driving by the Ignition Interlock Device. All offenses will mean that your interlock program last for longer periods of time. There is also a fair amount of cost and admin involved, from application fees and initial Ignition Interlock Device installation fees to the cost of regular service appointments. This article will explain all of the key details.
Ignition Interlock devices are not the only option out there if you have been accused of driving drunk. With the help of an experienced attorney, you could challenge your DUI charge on several grounds. A lawyer could also help you decide if having an Ignition Interlock Device installed is the right choice for you. We are here to help with any questions you may have. Perhaps you would like to challenge a false IID violation? If so, we could help.
Call 405-591-3935 to let an experienced lawyer guide you to the best chance of retaining your driving privileges.
What Are Ignition Interlock Devices?
An Ignition Interlock Device is essentially an in-car breathalyzer that is fitted in the motor vehicles of those arrested for drunk driving as part of the Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP).
Ignition Interlock Devices interrupt the signal to start a driver’s engine until a valid breath sample is delivered that has a blood alcohol concentration below .025 BAC. If the alcohol concentration of the breath sample exceeds that amount, the motor vehicle’s engine will not start.
There will also be another test at random times between five and fifteen minutes after the car engine has been successfully started. This second breath test is known as a rolling retest.
There are various penalties for exceeding the set blood alcohol level in a breath test, which will discuss in more detail further down the page.
How Do Ignition Interlock Devices Work?
An Ignition Interlock Device works by using fuel cell technology to detect the presence of alcohol in a breath sample.
These electrochemical devices have a chemical oxidation reaction when their platinum catalytic electrode surface comes into contact with alcohol. This causes an electric current to be generated, which is then measured and converted by the device into an alcohol level.
Does An Ignition Interlock Device Work Correctly 100% Of The Time?
The simple answer is no. Ignition Interlock Devices often fail to accurately sense the correct level of alcohol on your breath when you blow as part of the breath test.
In fact, Ignition Interlock Devices are less accurate and reliable than spectroscopy or infrared technology. False positives from Ignition Interlock Devices are relatively common and there are many things that could cause the device to stop working properly.
What Happens If You Fail The Ignition Interlock Device Breath Test?
If you blow more than .025 BAC and do not pass the breath test, you will get two more opportunities to retry the test and start your car. This is because State laws recognize that Ignition Interlock Devices are not perfect, and false positives do occur.
However, if you fail the test three times within a fifteen-minute window of time, the Ignition Interlock Device will record a violation.
The rules are different again if you fail a rolling retest. If you fail, you have to retake the test within five minutes as part of the IID requirements. If you fail the repeated rolling retest, the Ignition Interlock Device will log a violation. As well as logging this violation, your car will either make a constant noise, honk its horn continuously, or flash its lights. However, the engine of the car will remain in operation.
What Happens After An Ignition Interlock Device Logs A Violation?
Following a violation, Ignition Interlock requirements state that you must report to a monitoring center or service station within a five-day window.
If five days pass without reporting to a monitoring center, the vehicle’s ignition system will be inoperable and the IID restriction will entirely prevent you from starting your car.
At the service station, your Ignition Interlock Device will need to be calibrated in order to halt the timer. When this happens, the violation information contained by your Ignition Interlock Device will be transferred to the center or station. They will proceed to pass the information to the Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence and they will issue your consequences.
The Consequences Of An Ignition Interlock Device Violation
If you receive a violation when using a restricted license and an Ignition Interlock Device, the Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence will contact you by mail to inform you of your violation and usually to demand remedial action.
Remedial action is not always the same. It can depend on the severity of the violation and whether this is your first offense or a repeat offense. Usually, you can expect one or more of the following consequences:
- An extension of your Impaired Driver Accountability Program, meaning more time with restricted privileges and additional IID calibration fees.
- Being made to retrain with the manufacturer, usually at a cost out of your own pocket.
- Forcing you to install an updated Ignition Interlock Device that is a more sophisticated model, including the possibility of models fitted with a camera.
- Greater restrictions on your ability to drive, including restrictions from driving on certain days or times of the day.
- A reassessment of your place on the Impaired Driver Accountability Program, with the consequence of license suspension if you fail.
You will likely be required to provide proof that you have completed any remedial action demanded of you.
Can You Fight Ignition Interlock Device Violations?
The good news is, yes, a lawyer can help you to fight against an Ignition Interlock Device violation. These devices are not perfect, and falsely accuse many people of being drunk drivers.
It is not uncommon for an Ignition Interlock Device to detect more alcohol on the breath of a driver than there is in reality, even when that person is entirely sober. When the consequences potentially include losing your driver’s license entirely, a false violation should not be taken lightly.
If you believe your Ignition Interlock Device has falsely flagged you as operating your vehicle while unacceptably intoxicated, get in touch for a free consultation today. We will dedicate ourselves to attempting to demonstrate that your device was faulty, using all the evidence, skill, and experience we have available to us.
What Other Downsides Are There To Ignition Interlock Device Requirements?
False positives are not the only downsides of Ignition Interlock Device installation. While having an IID installed may allow somebody who has been charged with a DUI offense limited privileges and the ability to regain their full license after the license suspension period, they are far from perfect.
Outside the time investment required for the installation and calibration of the device and the various limits on your driving freedom, the main downsides to consider when deciding whether or not to get your vehicle fitted with a device are:
- The significant costs involved with getting your vehicle fitted with an IID – from application to device install fees to monthly calibration fees. For many people, these extra costs put an IID outside of their price range.
- Not everyone will be permitted to have Ignition Interlock Devices installed. It is possible to be declined at the application stage, especially if it is your third offense or more for driving under the influence.
- You will be required to have a working car in time for your installation appointment. If your car was damaged or destroyed due to an accident, you will not have a chance to earn your license back through the IDAP.
How Can A Lawyer Help If You Have Been Accused Of A DUI?
If your vehicle is pulled over and you are accused of a DUI, representation by a skilled attorney is essential.
There are a large number of ways an attorney could assist you. These include:
- Contesting your DUI charge with the opportunity to get the case dismissed, allowing you to avoid IID installation entirely.
- Giving you assistance applying for the IDAP, or appealing your participation if the IDAP refuses you.
- Assisting you to decide the best approach to your specific situation, while considering all of the evidence and individual factors at play.
- Appealing any IID violations that may occur due to false flags, technical errors, or any other failure that was not caused by a fault of your own.
- Helping you explore other remedial driving possibilities also open to those who have been accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Hire A DUI Lawyer Today
If you have been accused of operating your vehicle while intoxicated, Oklahoma State’s laws may allow you to fit an Ignition Interlock Device to your starter motor in order to earn back your normal driving privileges.
However, this is not the only option, you may also contest your DUI charge entirely. Or perhaps you have had an Ignition Interlock Device fitted, only to be falsely accused of a violation. Finally, maybe you are just not sure what the best action to take in your specific circumstances is. An experienced and skilled DUI lawyer, like the ones on the team here at Cannon & Associates, can help with all these situations.
Make the right decision with your driving future and call us today at 405-591-3935.
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